Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter. It is celebrated by most Christians on January 6 to commemorate the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi, or three wise men. Roman Catholics celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday which falls between January 2 and January 8.
Epiphany is derived from the Greek epiphaneia and means manifestation or to appear. In a religious context, the term describes the appearance of an invisible divine being in a visible form.
The celebration of the Epiphany began in the Eastern Church and included a celebration of Christ's birth. However, by the 4th century C. E., the various calendar reforms had moved the birth of Christ to December 25 and the church in Rome began celebrating January 6 as Epiphany. Armenians still celebrate the birth of Christ on January 6.
The period between December 25 and January 6 is known as the Twelve Days of Christmas and is the subject of a popular Christmas carol.